Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Tag Archives: Lug

Revisiting Mythical Women 3 – Revisiting Eithliu

Eithliu is a figure who seems to pop in and out of stories, taking no notice of traditional story cycles, or even how her name is spelt. Yet she rarely takes a leading role. In this “revisit”, we return to this enigmatic and sometimes troubling character from Irish mythology and folklore. With the benefit of …

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Étaín, Eithliu, Vessels and Rebirth

In order to gain some insight into the significance of Étaín, her role and her manner of rebirth, we shall look at related themes as they appear in different sagas. This essay is in two parts – the second part will be published after we have reached the end of The Wooing of Étaín in …

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Brú na Bóinne and Cnogba – the Boyne Valley in the Metrical Dindshenchas

At the beginning of Tocmarc Étaíne, we have the tale of the conception and birth of Óengus Mac Ind Óc and his claiming of Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) as his territory.  We touched on this story back in Series 1, Episode 3, “Tales of Eithliu”, and compared it to the Metrical Dindshenchas poems on Bóand, the …

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The Dindshenchas of Knowth – Cnogba

From the Metrical Dindshenchas, Volume 3, poem 4, pp 40 – 46 Edited by Edward Gwynn; Translated by Isolde Carmody Notes to the text appear at the end.  Terms with notes below are marked in bold.   Cnogba Fland Mac Lonnán cecinit. Fland Mac Lonnán chants:   1. Búa, ingen Rúadrach rúaid Búa, daughter of …

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The Battle of Moytura 12: An Experiment In Story Archaeology (Part 2)

We have dug down as far as we can go in this Story Archaeology dig of Cath Maige Tuired.  We’ve studied the landscape, examined related stories, collected linguistic potsherds. So what are we left with? For the last episode in “The Battle of Moytura” series, the Story Archaeologists engage in some experimental story archaeology. What …

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The Battle of Moytura 12: An Experiment In Story Archaeology (Part 1)

We have dug down as far as we can go in this Story Archaeology dig of Cath Maige Tuired.  We’ve studied the landscape, examined related stories, collected linguistic potsherds. So what are we left with? For the last episode in “The Battle of Moytura” series, the Story Archaeologists engage in some experimental story archaeology. What …

Read more »

Three shouts on a hill ~ Notes on the final task of the Children of Tuirenn

As we discussed in Episode 9, Lugh sets eight tasks for Brian and his brothers as an éric for the death of his father, Cian. He demands a series of marvelous items (see “Pleasing the King of Bling” for details). However, the final task is of a very different nature. Lugh cannot gain materially by the …

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The Battle of Moytura 10: The Children of Tuirenn 2 – Three Shouts on a Hill (Part 2)

In our continuing discussion of the Early Modern Irish tale, “The Fate of the Children of Tuirenn”, we send Brian and the boys off on their epic quest.  Much of this tale sounds terribly familiar  (did someone say “Labours of Heracles?”). But it all boils down to the deceptively simple task of making three shouts …

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The Battle of Moytura 10: The Children of Tuirenn 2 – Three Shouts on a Hill (Part 1)

In our continuing discussion of the Early Modern Irish tale, “The Fate of the Children of Tuirenn”, we send Brian and the boys off on their epic quest.  Much of this tale sounds terribly familiar (did someone say “Labours of Heracles?”). But it all boils down to the deceptively simple task of making three shouts …

Read more »

Pleasing the “King-of-Bling!” ~ Notes on the tasks of the Sons of Tuireann

Lugh is, of course, well within his rights to ask for a high éric, an honour price for the murder of his father, Cian. However, in this story, which clearly reflects Classical influences, Lugh intends the collection of the quest items to cost the lives of Brian and his brothers. Lugh hopes that the brothers …

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